An evening with Van the Man

Van the Man

Saturday night offered an unforgettable date night experience in the stunning surroundings of Starlite Occident Marbella, one of the most beautiful venues in Europe.

This “date night” was with Van Morrison, an artist whose music has been a constant in my life for over 40 years. Although our relationship exists only in my imagination, my affection for his music has never diminished. His extraordinary command of various instruments, particularly the saxophone, showcases his profound love for jazz, a love that resonates deeply with his audience.

   

Van Morrison’s performance flowed effortlessly through his meticulously curated playlist, captivating us, his eager audience. True to his reputation, Van did not interact with the crowd, nor did he introduce his songs or share the stories behind his heartfelt lyrics. Despite his reserved stage presence, his rendition of love songs, like “Making Love in the Afternoon” from the album “Days Like This,” vividly evoked the emotions tied to his past relationships. While Van seems to have moved on from those times, the songs he created during those periods continue to captivate his fans.

At 78, Van’s appearance remains strikingly similar to his look from three decades ago. His expression, unchanged and devoid of visible emotion, does not detract from the power of his music. Instead, the focus shifts to his profound lyrics and the exceptional performance of his band. Each band member’s passion for their instrument is palpable, and their individual talents shine, enriching the concert experience.

   

Van’s sudden departure from the stage, without performing some of his most beloved songs, left the audience with a sense of incompleteness. Starting the concert ten minutes early and leaving abruptly, Van concluded his performance without an encore, leaving us yearning for more. Nevertheless, his stylish appearance in a blue suit by a renowned Irish tailor and a hat by a famous Irish designer was appreciated. The mixed reactions from the audience did not culminate in a standing ovation, as the realisation that he would not return dampened the mood. Despite this, attending the concert was a memorable experience.

Starlite Occident Marbella lived up to its reputation. The venue buzzed with excitement as we awaited the performance. The warm evening breeze, coupled with the sight of elegant Spanish women waving fans, added to the ambience. Restaurants served delicious food with remarkable efficiency, and the bars operated with incredible speed, ensuring everyone received their orders promptly. The venue’s transformation as night fell, with twinkling lights reflecting off the mountains, created a magical atmosphere.

Entertainment extended beyond the concert. A DJ and dancers in stunning costumes engaged with the audience, enhancing the vibrant energy and atmosphere. The venue’s staff ensured smooth operations, from entry to exit, always with cheerful smiles.

Starlite earns 10 gold stars for its exceptional management and enchanting environment, while Van Morrison’s performance merits 5 stars. Despite some disappointment with the artist’s lack of engagement, the venue’s excellence more than compensated. This concert marked Van Morrison’s first performance in Spain, and the choice of Starlite was perfect, softening any dissatisfaction with the artist. A small suggestion for Van: a bit of interaction with the audience would make us feel as valued as we value your music.

Cantera de Nagüeles, C/ Albinoni, s/n 29602 Marbella

starlitefestival.com

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